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Lucy25
06-12-2012, 12:06 AM
I realize I am talking about the Cooking Network but I found the show called "The Supersizers" funny and fascinating. In the same vein I also enjoy "Foodography" from time to time too. I enjoy how food fits into our social/political history.

I love both of these shows, but especially "The Supersizers Go...". I am so bummed I have seen them all. I love that sort of thing, mixing food w/history.

danceronice
06-12-2012, 12:23 AM
My issue with the reality/competition shows is that too many of them are too similar, or derivative. Irvine's "Restaurant Impossible" is a rip off of Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares" for example.



BLATANT rip-off, though it's kind of scary that there are more than enough bad restaurants to support both shows. Robert does seem to spend more time on places that have some really rock-bottom-basic problems, though, like a list of health violations that literally would have them shut down instantly (and it takes a lot to get the health department to do that) while Gordon goes to places that are more management and cooking skill problems.

Wait, "Food Feuds"? Isn't there a show on the Travel Channel that does EXACTLY THE SAME THING already only with a female host? I get they now have so many "next Iron Chefs" they have to do something with them, and as shown above they clearly don't care about completely ripping off other networks' programming, but come on.

I don't generally like step by step shows (as I think I've said before) because I have a culinary degree, for heaven's sake, I can figure out a recipe on my own. I do like travelogue-style shows, but unfortunately for FN, Travel Channel pretty much does it already and does it better. I like Chopped, in a masochistic way as mystery basket was my least-favorite thing in all of culinary school ever (and I more or less passed because Chef liked me and knew there was almost no chance whatsoever I would ever been a line chef and I'd been running the pastry station all semester), though some ingredients are getting a little far-fetched. Plus with some proteins--well, when you give them at MOST 30 minutes for all prep, cooking, and plating and then give them an ingredient that requires a ton of breakdown to use...yeah, you're gonna get raw or half-cooked proteins. Shut up, judges. (I loved the one where the judges were competing and Samuelson just handed everyone their heads on a platter.)

I kind of like Food Network Star and Worst Cook in America, but their casting people....well, if I were on there, I'd start with "First, everybody with bleached white hair and a lot of piercings, regardless of gender--over there, you're out. All ambiguously-gay male chefs with overgroomed pompadours clearly channeling Marcel from Top Chef--over here, YOU'RE out. All large friendly black men with neatly-trimmed facial hair, OUT. All middle-aged women with the same shoulder-length Soccer Mom haircut and age issues, OUT. All bubbly blonde Barbie types, GO AWAY AND RETHINK YOUR PERSONALITIES." Just because it worked ONCE, Food Network, does not mean we need to see half a dozen clones over and over again.

skatesindreams
06-12-2012, 12:28 AM
What type of person should try out; if none of those demographics are to your liking?

danceronice
06-12-2012, 12:41 AM
What type of person should try out; if none of those demographics are to your liking?

That hardly eliminates 99% of the population. Do they have any American Indians? Actual subcontinental Indians? There's a guy from Hawaii on this season (unfortunately he's not that great on camera but it's a start.) People from the Midwest are underrepresented and usually the Barbies or the Soccer Moms. Someone with a different 'personality quirk' (anytime they want to talk to the Steampunk Chef, not that I know he's interested but I do know him and yes, he's a real chef...) What about AFRICAN cooking? North and sub-Saharan. Vietnamese? SOMETHING different. Instead of "I could have sworn I already saw that guy...."

And if they're going to do yet another procedural, at least make it interesting. Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen is a step-by-step, but it's fun, it's engaging, and Nadia doesn't look, talk, or act like anyone else they've got. She's got a gimmick that's actually original.

They really seem to be getting into a rut casting people who are like the Lite versions of the people they already have. Or just blatantly ripping off other networks' people.

Cachoo
06-12-2012, 01:10 AM
I love both of these shows, but especially "The Supersizers Go...". I am so bummed I have seen them all. I love that sort of thing, mixing food w/history.

On the Supersizers I realize the man is the critic/writer but I love Sue (it is Sue right?) You know I never thought a show on The Cooking Channel would bring me to tears from laughter and yet there was Sue trying to signal her availability ala Jane Austen during the Regency period with that damned fan. And in a modern bar to boot. And then she only became more desperate to marry.... I found the food consumed during each period interesting but the history, social etiquette and relationships kept my attention. I think I want to buy the DVD if they produced one.

skatesindreams
06-12-2012, 01:17 AM
The person who submits a proposal/video/tries out has to see themselves as a potential successful "fit"; unless FN headhunts/"recruits" them from another network/restaurant.
I suppose that the execs are always on the lookout during their travels.

Jenny
06-12-2012, 01:49 AM
And if they're going to do yet another procedural, at least make it interesting. Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen is a step-by-step, but it's fun, it's engaging, and Nadia doesn't look, talk, or act like anyone else they've got. She's got a gimmick that's actually original.

And she's a knowledgeable cook who knows her stuff.

michiruwater
06-12-2012, 04:04 AM
I freaking love Bitchin' Kitchen and was suuuuper sad when I wasn't able to get The Cooking Channel (or any cable) last year.

IceAlisa
06-12-2012, 04:16 AM
I absolutely agree that this article loses all credibility by not only not including Sandra Lee, but by actually liking her.

Really? I am not even clicking on that link. :drama:

manhn
06-12-2012, 04:34 AM
Bitchen Kitchen is super fun (although I could without the music videos) but I very rarely ever have a desire to eat her food.

Oh, but Hans....


The Weirdest Restaurants in the World is on FN? Never heard of it and can't find it on their US site. Maybe it's only in Canada?

Sorry, it's called "World's Weirdest Restaurants". It's hosted by Robert Bluemer, who I think is Canadian (but certainly annoying--the show is my least favourite of the travelogue shows, but the restaurants themselves are interesting enough that I still watch). For example, I am watching an episode right now and it's featuring a clothing optional restaurant!


One of our favourite restaurants in Turner Valley, AB was featured on You Gotta Eat Here this past week (Chuckwagon Cafe). That place was already hugely busy on weekends; now it's going to be almost impossible to get in there! The Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict is to die for!

That place looked great. That same episode also featured a hotdog place in Calgary, but I found that one kinda disgusting....although the Japanese hot dog looked pretty good (was it a ripoff of Japadog?).

milanessa
06-12-2012, 05:10 AM
Sorry, it's called "World's Weirdest Restaurants". It's hosted by Robert Bluemer, who I think is Canadian (but certainly annoying--the show is my least favourite of the travelogue shows, but the restaurants themselves are interesting enough that I still watch). For example, I am watching an episode right now and it's featuring a clothing optional restaurant!


Sounds interesting but I still can't find it on the US site. I think it's a Canadian thing.

kwanfan1818
06-12-2012, 08:58 AM
I watch Chopped and Cupcake Wars all the time when they are on, even the reruns.
I don't even like cupcakes, but when I'm in a hotel, I will watch the after-midnight re-run of Cupcake Wars that I saw earlier in the afternoon. I don't know why, but I really like watching people make them and talk about the ingredients.

Chopped annoys me because besides having to mention the TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS six times each round on the show, now the contestants all have to have sob stories and whine.

I do like the explanation that the judges give about the challenges of working with some ingredients and what some of the ingredients are.



I don't like how Robert treats some of the people he is trying to help,

He's big and muscle-bound, and he leans in on people, like he's about to attack them physically while he's berating them. I find him impossible. Plus there's the whole Oedipal thread to many of the episodes: the bullying, patriarchal, my-way-or-the-highway, STFU father is running the restaurant into the ground using canned foods and bad technique, while the bullied son who went to cooking school is being held down, and the wife/mother is on the verge of tears and a heart attack. Robert bullies back and "fires" the father, and after the big cathartic moment, within 48 hours the son blossoms into the chef-he-always-could-be, and everyone is crying and hugging, and family harmony is restored.



for some reason I just don't believe they actually turn around the entire restaurant in just 2 days as the show says they do.
If they did, that means everyone who is showing up for dinner is smelling new paint, new varnish, new unwashed fabric, etc. while they are eating this great food. (Given how they're always trying to finish the design until the last moment, I'm not even sure the paint would be dry in the timeline they show.)

These are struggling restaurants with few customers, and two overnights away their staff and kitchen are able to handle a full restaurant where everyone shows up at exactly the same time? How many restaurants in reasonable shape could do that, apart from the ones that are set up to do one or two full set services/night? You'd think the set-up alone would sink them.


I hate Iron Chef America. I vastly preferred the original Iron Chef and I hate that they never show it anymore in favor of ICA. The chefs on the original were better chefs, IMO, and the food a lot more interesting. Plus I loved, loved, loved the actor who played the Chairman in the original.
I don't know the original, but what I like about ICA is how calm and professional the chefs and their assistants are as they work.



That same episode also featured a hotdog place in Calgary, but I found that one kinda disgusting....although the Japanese hot dog looked pretty good (was it a ripoff of Japadog?).
I was in downtown Seattle this weekend, and a few blocks from Pike Place Market was a cart called "Japon Dog."

Rex
06-12-2012, 02:13 PM
She loses all credibility by saying Semi-homemade is a great show.
Yeah, people make crap like that in their homes all the time. But I don't need to learn how to open a gravy packet and stir in water...
:respec: Minus 100 points right there.

But the only reason I watch FN is for Food Network Star. I don't even watch Sandy anymore. The Cooking Channel has more instructional shows like Kelsey's Essentials and Chuck's Day Off (crazy about him), although they sometimes show some food comp shows.

But I can't stand shows like Cupcake Wars or BBQ Anything (there seems to be a lot of those on FN lately) or any of those types of shows. IMO, they aren't even entertaining.

skatesindreams
06-12-2012, 02:45 PM
Supposedly, the owners apply to be on "Restaurant Impossible".
Many of them seem to need his tough approach, as they seem to have no idea of what is needed to run a successful operation - on any level.

My problem with Irvine is that he gained "traction" with the network by claiming to have a prestigious chefs credential he did not possess.
I know he was off the air/suspended for a time because of it.
The incident damaged his credibility, IMO; and lowered his profile, somewhat.

danceronice
06-12-2012, 03:26 PM
And she's a knowledgeable cook who knows her stuff.

I love that she makes a production number of taking off all her rings before working bare-handed with food. NOT something most people think about! I haven't made any of her food, yet, but I've seen some things I might.

(Okay, okay, the segments with Hans are nice, too.)

With both Restraunt Impossible and Kitchen Nightmares, you can usually look up and see whether the places made it or not, and Gordon on KN has gone back to some--his show, anyway, it seems maybe 50-50 and mostly comes down to how much the people wanted to change, and how much they just backslid. Though at least one place that went under anyway, here in (or rather near) South Bend, the owners closed the place, but they're now focusing on marketing the barbecue sauce Gordon developed with them.